North Tyneside: Business as usual after 'day of confusion' following Covid guidance

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    The advice urged the public to avoid travelling in and out of the borough in a bid to avoid possible contact with the Indian coronavirus variant. However, the advice left business owners and locals scratching their heads.

    The Department for Health has since clarified that there were no legal restrictions for travel, but members of the public were advised to avoid travelling where possible.

    A Government spokesperson stressed that the advice was being updated to suit the different regions.

    The spokesperson said: “We will be updating the guidance for areas where the new Covid-19 variant is spreading to make it clearer we are not imposing local restrictions.

    “Instead, we are providing advice on the additional precautions people can take to protect themselves and others in those areas where the new variant is prevalent.”

    Wendy Burke, public health director for North Tyneside, welcomed the Government’s statement.

    She said she was “really pleased” the Government was changing the advice.

    Ms Burke told the BBC: “That’s really all we were seeking.

    “We wanted to put an end to the confusion and we wanted some clarity for our residents about the statement and the guidance.

    “It’s great to know that actually there are no travel restrictions, people can continue to come to the borough, our businesses are open and they will continue to welcome visitors as well as residents.”

    Ms Burke stressed that members of the public are still being urged to be “really cautious” especially when “meeting people indoors”.

    She also highlighted the importance of complying with the “hands, face and space” advice.

    North Tyneside mayor Norma Redfearn said it had been a “day of confusion” but the “position for North Tyneside is as we were”.

    She added: “We are at the same stage of the roadmap as the rest of the country. We have seen throughout the pandemic that clear communications are vital and this confusion has caused stress and anxiety for many people in North Tyneside and the region.”

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